After 21 years as a graphic artist and illustrator, a fortuitous meeting in Canada with Bill Braden, the owner of the Yukon Gallery, was the advent of my new career and a love affair with fickle watercolours.

My early paintings, in a detailed style and a limited palette, were of old log cabins and rusty mining relics in Canada. Back in New Zealand, this style continued until a watercolour workshop with dear Austen Deans gave me an appreciation of painting the landscape and a new direction. My current style, which has changed and evolved over the years, is to eliminate the detail and simplify and emphasise the effects of the sky's rythms and light on land or reflected water.

I now prefer to work on-site at every opportunity or from line and wash sketches. My inspiration is often just a simple sliver of light on the edge of a shadow or a cloud, or a glowing colour on the horizon. I use big brushes and gallons of pure colour to achieve a clean fresh result.

The flexibility and flow of luminous, transparent watercolour is exciting and as well as challenging me, watercolour creates its own unexpected (and sometimes awful) surprises. Painting intuitively and deliberately ignoring rules and theories is riskier but much more fun. Making and meeting many like-minded friends at Watercolour workshops throughout the country has been a bonus.

Canterbury born and bred, Lyttelton is now my home where I have a studio-gallery overlooking the everchanging harbour.

Since 1980, I have participated in many group and solo exhibitions, invited to be a guest artist. Highlights have been winning art awards in Invercargill, Dunedin, Oamaru and Ashburton; invitations to exhibit at the Museum of Watercolour in Mexico and Watercolour NZ in Wellington; and tutoring art tours to Norfolk Island and the Flinders Ranges in Australia.

Book New Zealands Favourite Artist's v.2

My work was featured in two art publications.
The first is "New Zealand's Favourite Artists V.2", published in May 2008.

Second one "New Zealand in Watercolour" by Denis Robinson was published in October 2014, a collection of the works by 30 of New Zealand’s leading contemporary watercolour artists, painting their country and its people. My painting "Mackenzie Country" was chosen for its cover.

Book New Zealands Favourite Artist's v.2

Adrienne Pavelka

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